HATFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – About 50 million Americans, including 16 million children, struggle with hunger every year. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) has been a strong advocate for reducing food waste, and spoke to lawmakers in Washington D.C. on Monday about the issue.
McGovern said American consumers, businesses, and farms spend an estimated $218 billion per year growing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten. Forty to 50 million tons of food is sent to landfills each year. McGovern praised organizations like the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts for their help in reducing food waste.
“Every year, we distribute about 10 million pounds of food. The equivalent of about 8.3 million meals and a good chunk of that, about 7 or 8 million pounds is food that would otherwise go to waste,” Food Bank Executive Director Andrew Morehouse said.
Local supermarkets, companies, and farmers will bring food to the Food Bank that would otherwise be discarded.
Tuesday, the Food Bank was dealing with large shipments of meat, which is flash frozen solid by the supermarkets, and can be distributed later on.